Promoting Creativity and Innovation
WIPO pays particular attention to African inventors and innovators as principal users and beneficiaries of intellectual property rights. In addition to award schemes which contribute to stimulating creativity and competitiveness, special training workshops and seminars are organized with a view to sensitizing policymakers, universities, R&D institutions and economic operators on the importance and benefits of intellectual property protection and the commercialization of results. Among them was a seminar targeting women entrepreneurs which was organized with a view to addressing intellectual property issues of particular interest to women as potential users of intellectual property.
In 1988, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the former Organization of African Unity (OAU), now officially renamed the "African Union" (AU), WIPO and the OAU launched the WIPO/OAU Gold Medal Award Scheme aimed at encouraging the search for innovative solutions to existing problems in Africa and at promoting the economic and social development of African countries by rewarding the best African inventors in the following important fields of human endeavor, namely: health care, food technology and energy. A new African Union (AU)/WIPO Award will be launched soon. The gold medal is accompanied by a cash prize.
Invention and Innovation Promotion Aid Fund (FAPI). The objective of the Fund which WIPO helped OAPI to create is the valuation of patents and strengthening the competitiveness of industrial enterprises. It will help all innovative projects to find financing.